ENOUGH

I’m working thru a phase of depression. I’m aware that much of my present reality, ours really, justifies some of my funk…but I haven’t yet committed to active dissention. I’m happy for those who’ve found purpose in their activism…that’s just not yet speaking to me.

And I experience further dissatisfaction and self-criticality, knowing that MY reality, compared to the majority of humanity justifies so little cause for my unhappiness. I am safe, I am sheltered, I am well fed…and am likely to remain so.

I watch LITTLE BIG LIES. It is handsome with an accomplished cast and set in a scenic locale. I wonder how it is received by the wider world. My takeaway (and I will continue to watch, make no mistake) is that affluent, attractive well educated, largely white Americans can find unhappiness as quickly as the rest of us.

So financial security is apparently no guarantee that lives can not get fucked up. Wonder how much comfort that is to viewers that tease themselves with this mantra? “Man if I had that kind of money, no way would I not be fulfilled!” Right? Is that not the subtext of most who watch such prime time soaps? And how many people do you know of or have read about, that enjoyed such affluence…and found ways to destroy it?

The most fulfilled people I’ve met in the world during my journeys; the villagers of Greece, the farmers of Vietnam, the forest workers of Germany were not people of affluence. Far from it. But somehow, their values, their work, their faith sustained them and affirmed them. Now that was an earlier time, when material success was not constantly in their faces, on tv screens and magazines.

I dunno. Is this, “How you gonna keep em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Parie?” I’ve gotta wonder. And wonder how the wealth of 2017 strikes the average American…who KNOW they will never possess millions or billions of dollars. Movie star? $20 million a film? Sports star? $20, 50, 100, 200 million dollar contracts? And you gotta lump in there, CEO’s and hedge fund managers and lobbyists and entrepreneurs and …

I mean, what does the average citizen DO with such knowledge? Does it inspire them? Does it discourage them? Does it deflate their perceptions of their lives, knowing such will NEVER be their reality? Modern affluence is to some extent, a result of capitalism. Build a better mousetrap. Ally yourself with world-class robber barons. Be born on third base. It would seem to require some serious faith in some rather longstanding tenets of charity and generosity and regard for our fellow man to sustain a devotion to Service to Others…rather than to ourselves. And even our religious leaders, those that would or should inspire us to charity, seem largely just hucksters that become rich from farming our need to find meaning in our existence.

I surely have no answers…nothing that gives me any certainty that my own choices are any more divinely guided than the choices of anyone else. I’ve found some solace in a personal decision made years ago. It’s nothing I can honorably share here; doing so could only be perceived as bragging or self-promotion…never been comfortable with that. But I will say that what I’ve been doing encourages me that such conduct is “above the line”. I would be impressed to learn that someone else does what I do. I think we ALL hope to Make A Difference during our lives. I hope each of you find that way that marks your passage, your existence here and now.

COMMAND PRESENCE

They…they…they…What a punk.

Someone please explain to this chickenhawk what command and leadership entail! Sack up, you pissant.

“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

If you’re in uniform, THIS is your CIC. God bless and keep you.

SHOTGUNS

We were doing this play in NY for Joe Papp, based upon poetry written by and about veterans of Vietnam. WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS. I think all of us had served…tho Kelly Monaghan was in Korea.  😉 It didn’t run very long…in fact, I’d turned down a film role, just to do it. The casting director, Lou DiGiaimo said to me, “Tucker, plays come and go. Movies are forever.” True…tho the movie was COPS AND ROBBERS….

So one day, see Jimmy lived up on the Upper West Side and his place got broken in…and it pissed him off. So Jimmy went out and bought a shotgun. We both been home about 6 or 7 years…not all that long. And he wanted to familiarize himself with it so we went over to New Jersey, to a gun range run by Rocky…who was of course Italian.

There were all these guys in cool leather shooting jackets with engraved shotguns, preparing for some trap shooting. Jimmy’s gun was a riot gun. Shorter barrel, no choke, WIDE dispersion of buckshot…but very effective, up close and personal. Rocky as I recall laughed at us…but he liked our style.

So Rocky set us up for an afternoon trap shoot…or skeet shoot, I don’t remember which. Clay targets. He gave us both handsome Browning shotguns and we went out to the line. There were about 5 of us…they, seasoned gun enthusiasts and we were…a couple of guys who’d done some shooting as well, a while back. Just that it was during a war. So anyway, we did a… whatever they call it…a round?

30 shots. The “suits” as I recall did 17, 18 and 21. I did 22. And if memory serves me right, Jimmy did 25. Rocky was impressed.
I never hunted animals, apart from slingshots and bb guns as a kid. But in OCS they introduced a new approach to weapons training for use in Vietnam called Quick Kill. Statistically, most of our engagements happened inside 50 meters. QK taught us to ignore the sights on our weapons, to fire with both eyes open. Point and shoot. The country kids were the quickest to pick it up because it replicated their bird hunting techniques.

I know that Jimmy moved to California and became involved in law enforcement. I don’t know whether he ever had to use his shotgun, over the years.